Even though Small Business Saturday is a totally made-up holiday invented by American Express in 2009, the sentiment behind it is really nice: support local small businesses! In that spirit, here are some of my fave independent shops in DC:
SUMMIT TO SOUL
As you may have noticed if you’re reading this blog regularly lately, I recently started running. One of my running resolutions for the year was to join a running group and the first one I tried was Summit to Soul‘s Wednesday night runs around the US Capitol. I just fell in love with this adorable shop and its supportive community of awesome runneuses. Summit to Soul is an adorable woman-owned local shop on Barrack Row that specializes on women’s athletic apparel. It carries the cheeky tanks and sweatshirt from Sarah Marie Design Studio which I simply cannot get enough of.
Let’s face it, I’m a bit of a wine snob but that’s mostly because I grew up drinking French wines and they’re just what I know best (having a grandmother who lived in rosé mecca Bandol certainly helped!) I’m trying to branch out though and be more open minded so I LOVE dropping by Grand Cata in Shaw and let its co-founders, Julio and Pedro, talk me into trying a bottle I would have never picked up on my own. To this date, I have never been disappointed. More than a Latin American wine shop, Grand Cata is in the business of promoting Latin American culture. Its mercadito sells gourmet products from all over the continent (including anchovies stuffed olives which I adore) and frequently showcases the work of Latin American artists. Of course, most wine shops in the city fall in the small business category and there are many others that I love including Wardman Wines in Brookland, DCanter on Capitol Hill, Weygandt Wines in Cleveland Park or Cork and Fork on 14th street. I also love Via Umbria in Georgetown, though wine isn’t its main focus. It sells stunning Italian ceramics, linens and food in addition to running an amazing café.
KRAMERBOOKS & AFTERWORDS CAFE
We’re big readers here in DC and are very lucky to have some great independent bookstores in town, including some like Politics & Prose in Chevy Chase and the newly expended Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe in Dupont Circle that organize great literary-focused events too. Bookstores were the preferred shopping destination of President Obama who always made a point of visiting an independent shop on small business Saturday (he had a sweet tooth as well and visited The Dairy Godmother in Del Ray one year!). I doubt President Trump will be stopping by any of our local businesses since he’s spending the long weekend golfing at Mar-a-Lago… I mean, the winter White House 😉 Other local bookstores you could visit Saturday (or any day of the year really!) include Upshur Street Books in Petworth, Capitol Hill Books near Eastern Market, Idle Time Books in Adams Morgan or Bridge Street Books in Georgetown.
The Washington Post just profiled this gem of a shop on Capitol Hill, wondering how it has managed to survive in the age of Amazon. The answer, and what always brings me back, is by carrying some cheeky DC focused products (think DC shaped cutting board, cookie cutters shaped like the US Capitol and even for all 50 states etc.) that you wouldn’t find at Williams & Sonoma or Sur La Table. That’s in addition to everything you could even need for your kitchen. Other shops I love in this category are Home Rule on 14th street and The Cookery near the National Cathedral.
LE VILLAGE MARCHE
I could buy everything in this home goods and decor store, especially around the holidays! Perhaps that’s because Le Village Marche, which has two boutiques in Cathedral Heights and Shirlington, specializes in Parisian-inspired home decor and gifts, including French soaps, candles, letterpress stationery, kitchen accessories and artwork. Also specializing in home goods and gifts: vintage home furnishings boutique Miss Pixie and Amanda McClement’s impeccably curated Salt & Sundry (with locations on 14th street and Union Market, as well as two sister shops specializing in paper goods and plants, Little Leaf, also at Union Market and just off of 14th street.)